Bounce rate is a sticky subject for some people because it is almost always higher than you intuitively want it to be. But as I’ve learned, intuition and data are not always perfect dance partners. Simply put, bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors who only look at one page before leaving. Knowing about this little statistic and knowing what to do with it can have a major effect on how you design and evaluate your internet marketing system.
Coming to Terms With Bounce Rate
It is not uncommon to see a bounce rate of 60%, 70%, or even 80%. What determines whether that bounce rate is good or bad is different for every website, depending on your internet marketing strategy. We instinctively want every visitor to our website to be so enamored by what they find that they view every page on our site. And we often feel let down when they do not. However, how often do you go to a website and take the time to review and read every single page? It just does not happen that way; we are too busy to look at every page every time. We only look for the content we want at that moment.
Put It In Context
So how can I make a case that an 80% bounce rate is good? Simple: what is your inbound marketing strategy? If you are blogging frequently, then eventually you will begin to build an audience. The more active that audience gets, the FEWER pages they will look at per visit. Why? Because they have seen or read everything that has interested them and they are coming back once a day, often prompted by an email update, to view that day’s new blog post. After they read the new content they leave the site and await the next content piece. Perhaps you can coax some of them to fill out a form to get a free resource or link through to an older post, but for the most part they are only interested in that day’s post.
Determine Visitor Behavior
When analyzing bounce rate you absolutely need to look at another statistic; average visit duration. This statistic measures how long a visitor stays on your site. If you have an 80% bounce rate and an average visit duration of 3:00 minutes, that is a good sign that your visitors come, thoroughly read what they were looking for, and leave. If you see a high bounce rate and a low visit duration of 0:15 seconds, then you have a problem. Somehow people find your site and quickly decide it is not what they want and leave right away. This could be the result of ineffective marketing, poor search engine optimization, or bad referral links.
In order to effectively analyze your bounce rate, you need to first consider what your internet marketing system looks like. Then work to get a complete picture of what your actual visitor behavior is. Only then can you determine what a good bounce rate for your site is, and develop methods to improve it.